The family of a Black man killed by Georgia police on Monday dispute DeKalb County Police’s assertion that he “lunged at officers with a knife on two separate occasions” in a viral TikTok Thursday, Complex reports.
Police officers shot Matthew Zadok Williams, 35, in his home after receiving a “call about a man with a large knife,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. DeKalb County Police said Williams lunged at officers with a knife twice, but his family said “he was a non-violent person” and “wouldn’t kill a bug,” per the Journal-Constitution.
Williams’ sister, whose TikTok username is @queendeebo, posted a video of Williams’ mother, Chris Ann Lewis, denying DeKalb County Police’s version of events and calling the situation “a case of mistaken identity.”
“My son was murdered last night by DeKalb County Police. My son was murdered in his own home,” Lewis says. “He was running from the police while they were shooting at him, he jumped through his window.”
She says she spoke with eye-witnesses who saw what happened and there was a “report called on two men.” She says her son turned the corner “with a bucket in his hand” and that he ran when the “police started shooting at him.”
Lewis says Williams jumped into his storage room through his window and that she “can see where he was shot through the door, and there is blood on the floor.”
DeKalb County Police did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
Jason Neal, a resident of Williams’ complex, said he saw Williams “run toward his home and scurry onto the roof” and that he didn’t see a weapon in his hand, per the Journal-Constitution.
“He kicked the window a couple times and just went in,” Neal told the publication. “He must have been scared.”
Williams’ mother and family said they were not informed of his death until the following day and that the family has “more questions than answers,” according to the Journal-Constitution.
The family’s attorney, Mawuli Davis, demanded that any available body cam footage be released “so that this family can see” and “so that the world can know what the truth is,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
“Based on what we’re hearing, whatever happened is very, very different from what police are reporting,” he said. “We are in a time in our history as a country and a state where we can no longer hide behind open investigations.”
Williams’ sister Abrianah Witchett, who did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment, started a GoFundMe for Williams’ funeral and memorial expenses.
“Our Zadok was beautiful. He was a home owner. An avid reader. An activist. A humanitarian. A pacifist. He was full of life and love so exuberant that he radiated,” the GoFundMe page stated. “He was the only boy out of 6 children and we cherished every moment with him. My family is devastated by this lost. Our lives will never be the same.”
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